Bluefish Image
(Pomatomus saltatrix)
Link to NJ Fishing Consumer Alert page Link to NJ Fishing Consumer Alert page
In the warmer weather the bluefish is one of the most common inhabitants of the inshore and near coast waters in the Mid-Atlantic. Ranging in size from small "snappers" of under a pound in weight to giant "slammers" weighing up to twenty pounds, the bluefish provides recreational opportunities and first-class table fare to millions of people each year. 

Known for their excellence on the plate as well as their fighting ability, a fresh-from-the-sea bluefish dinner is an integral part of the Jersey shore experience. 

Bluefish are commonly found in the estuaries and the coastal waters of every state from Maine to Florida. The are resident in the Mid-Atlantic from May until October or early November. 

Bluefish are caught commercially with gillnets and otter trawls. Almost the entire commercial harvest supplies the fresh domestic market with limited frozen exports.

 Scan of cover of Blues In his splendid book book BLUES, author John Hersey spends a summer with the reader catching, studying, talking about and eating bluefish on the island of Martha's Vineyard off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Quoting from the liner notes, "With grace, with wit, with Love, Hersey in this book celebrates the seas, their life, and life itself." 

(1987 by Alfred A. Knopf, NY)

The chart on the right shows (in pounds) commercial and recreational bluefish landings in the Mid-Atlantic states from 1990. While, as the chart indicates, bluefish are harvested primarily by recreational anglers, they do support a significant commercial fishery. 

(the chart is linked to the National Marine Fisheries Service web site)

Bluefish landings - Rec v Comm